Goa

Goa’s intrinsic “susegad” lifestyle is probably due in large part to the availability of so many beautiful beaches, each one with a unique character and feel. There’s no better way to get away from the hectic drudgery of the daily 9 to 5 grind than to relax on the weekend on one of Goa’s beautiful sunny beaches lined with palm trees that sway in the breeze, soaking up the sun, sipping on the local brew of cashew or coconut feni, and watching your cares melt away.

Calangute beach is known as the Queen of Beaches. It’s also a huge tourist locale. Everything you need is within easy reach, including beachfront hotels, restaurants offering delicious Goan specialties as well as Continental food, tradesmen selling souvenirs and trinkets, recliners near the shore sponsored by a nearby restaurant from which you can order a nice cold beer or other beverage as you sit near the water’s edge and watch the sun slink below the horizon. Colva beach has a similar setup and is equally popular. Calangute, despite the heavy tourist traffic, is a hot favorite because of this easy availability of amenities. Walking further down the coast will often take you away from the bulk of the crowd to a more secluded area as you get away from Calangute and move closer to Baga beach.

The sandy white beaches of Baga, Candolim, and Sinquerim are arguably some of the best beaches in North Goa. Baga has a charming array of shacks that line the beach, each serving up food and drink in a beautiful, rustic atmosphere.

For something a little different, take a walk through Vagator beach. The seashore is covered in shiny black sand, which is actually fragmented volcanic rock. Though you may not see any volcanoes, there are numerous rocks and boulders weathered by age dotted around the beach. This is definitely a rock climber’s beach with its tall cliffs and rocky scenery. The water, of course, is the usual crystal clear blue, but swimming is discouraged due to underwater currents. The beach is also famous for its nightlife. Although more relaxed than Calangute beach, Vagator is fast becoming a tourist spot in and of itself. Skinny dippers need not feel left out since the locals here are used to some nudity on this beach, although it isn’t officially a nudist beach.

In South Goa, the beaches are more secluded and are preferred by those who seek a more relaxed vacation off the beaten track. Agonda Beach is one of the more secluded areas with water that’s perfect for swimming and rocks for the adventurous climbers. Mobor and Cavelossim are equally quiet and are dotted with a few shacks along the coast. Palolem Beach, referred to as Paradise Beach, is a huge favorite among anglers. Rented accommodation at one of the bamboo huts on stilts is cheap and easily available.

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Goa holiday rentals and Worldwide vacation rentals.

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Beaches in Goa

By Mike Burlaugh

Old Portuguese forts or professional yoga lessons? Crowded beaches or all on your own? Luxury hotels or palm thatched huts? Whatever you prefer, you will find a favorite beach in Goa.

Calangute, Baga & Candolim – The family beaches in Goa
At Calangute Beach there is room for the whole family, with 3 miles of pure entertainment. The younger ones can play beach volley while older people can relax in the shadows, while enjoying a Mango lassi, the sweet yoghurt-based drink with Mango. For those wanting to party on when the kids have been put to bed, there is Baga Beach in the north, where the beer flows freely along with western pop music around the small palm huts on the beach. For the more adventurous minded, there are dolphin and crocodile safaris leaving Candolim Beach, to the south.

Calangute, Baga and Candolim beaches are located south of Anjuna, some 12 miles away from Panaji, and 40 miles from Dabolim Airport.

Benaulim – Beautiful sights and colorful entertainment in Goa
According to Hindu myth, Goa was created when the god Vishnu in his sixth incarnation shot an arrow from the mountains in the south, and asked the god of the seas to retreat to where the arrow landed. Banali means “where the arrow landed”, but the Portuguese found it easier to pronounce as Benaulim. On this beautiful beach the melon sellers mingle with holy cows, fishing boats and unauthorized masseurs, and if the show gets just too colorful you can also rent a scooter and take a trip beyond the old Portuguese mansions lining the beach.

Benaulim Beach can be found 3 miles from Margao in southern Goa

Anjuna & Vagator – the birth place of Goa Trance
Where the rhythm reigns! It seeps into every pore and makes you move in step with the hundreds of other people on the beach, all dancing, alone or together with others, but hardly ever to impress anyone. It still happens that a group gathers at some remote beach and dances thru the night on chemicals and love. But if you want trance parties that have not been outlawed by the local authorities, you have to go to the legendary Nine Bar on Vagator Beach, or Paradiso on Anjuna Beach.

Anjuna Beach is located just north of Baga Beach, about 15 miles from Panaji, and 45 miles from Dabolim Airport.

Arambol – Yoga and wholemeal bread the Goa way
When the tourists took over Goa, the hippies moved north to Arambol Beach, set up yoga institutes, health care shops and paragliding schools. A little to the south, you can visit Morjim Beach, where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand, and Indian guards watch over them until they hatch exactly 54 days later. Stay at the old Fort Tiracol north of Arambol, which has been transformed into a tasteful hotel, or one of the palm thatched huts along the beach.

Arambol Beach is in northernmost Goa

Palolem – The Postcard Beach in Goa
The beautiful Palolem Bay is refreshingly free of concrete constructions, as the local authorities bulldozed all illegal buildings in 2006. Instead there are palm huts, great food and lots of places close by where one can find an isolated spot. No matter if your partner is your boy or girl friend, a good book, your iPod or just silence, you’re sure to have a lower heart rate when your return from here!

Palolem Beach is found in southernmost Goa

Mike Burlaugh works as an IT Programmer and Systems Administrator. He enjoys travelling and writing. Currently he is working on broadening his skills in general, do take a look at some of his latest projects here: Outdoor Gas Grills takes a look at the benefits of using either natural gas or propane gas for your outdoor grilling area, as well as various tips and inspiration for how the get the most of your outdoor cooking area.

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